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Looking to buy a home? January is a great time to shop, mortgage expert says

Posted at 8:46 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 20:47:25-05

A busy time in real estate is about to start.

Over the last few years, January has become an increasingly popular time for home buyers to start shopping, according to realtor.com.

Traditionally, the spring has been busy season.

“I think January is a great time to buy a home,” says Holden Lewis, a mortgage expert with NerdWallet. “There are fewer shoppers in January, so you have less competition.”

NerdWallet's mortgage expert says another bonus for buyers is homes tend to sell for a little bit less in the winter.

If you can get an offer in before the Super Bowl, you could end up saving some cash.

Lewis says to shop around for title insurance.

If you don't know what title insurance is, you might want to take a first-time home buyers class.

“They'll learn things about closing costs and what the various types of closing costs are,” Lewis says. “They'll learn how to compare mortgage offers, apply for a mortgage, you get a three-page loan estimate and it has a section in there that helps you compare loan offers.”

In some states, a first-time home buyers class can get you a grant or help with a down payment.

If not, it can still help you find other ways to save, and how to budget for things like insurance and repairs.